Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies (1973)

AllMusic Review: With Billion Dollar Babies, Alice Cooper refined the raw grit of their earlier work in favor of a slightly more polished sound (courtesy of super-producer Bob Ezrin), resulting in a mega-hit album that reached the top of the U.S. album charts. Song for song, Billion Dollar Babies is probably the original Alice Cooper group’s finest and strongest. Such tracks as “Hello Hooray,” the lethal stomp of the title track, the defiant “Elected” (a rewrite of an earlier song, “Reflected”), and the poison-laced pop candy of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” remain among Cooper’s greatest achievements. Also included are a pair of perennial concert standards — the disturbing necrophilia ditty “I Love the Dead” and the chilling macabre of “Sick Things” — as well as such strong, lesser-known selections as “Raped and Freezin’,” “Unfinished Sweet,” and perhaps Cooper’s most overlooked gem, “Generation Landslide.” Nothing seemed like it could stop this great hard rock band from overtaking the universe, but tensions between the members behind the scenes would force the stellar original AC band to split up after just one more album. Not only is Billion Dollar Babies one of Cooper’s very best; it remains one of rock’s all-time, quintessential classics. — Greg Prato

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Hello Hooray” Rolf Kempf 4:15
2. “Raped and Freezin'” Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce 3:19
3. “Elected” Cooper, Glen Buxton, Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith 4:05
4. “Billion Dollar Babies” Cooper, Bruce, Reggie Vinson 3:43
5. “Unfinished Sweet” Cooper, Bruce, Smith 6:18
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. “No More Mr. Nice Guy” Cooper, Bruce 3:06
7. “Generation Landslide” Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith 4:31
8. “Sick Things” Cooper, Bruce, Bob Ezrin 4:18
9. “Mary Ann” Cooper, Bruce 2:21
10. “I Love the Dead” Cooper, Ezrin 5:09

 

Schill Score:  6.50 /10

 

Alice Cooper – School’s Out (1972)

AllMusic Review: School’s Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock stratosphere, largely due to its timeless, all-time classic title track. But while the song became Alice’s highest-charting single ever (reaching number seven on the U.S. charts) and recalled the brash, three-and-a-half-minute garage rock of yore, the majority of the album signaled a more complex compositional directional for the band. Unlike Cooper’s previous releases (Love It to Death, Killer), which contained several instantly identifiable hard rock classics, School’s Out appears to be a concept album, and aside from the aforementioned title track anthem, few of the other tracks have ever popped up in concert. That’s not to say they weren’t still strong and memorable; while such cuts as “Gutter Cat vs. the Jets,” “Street Fight,” “My Stars,” and “Grande Finale” came off like mini-epics with a slightly progressive edge, Alice Cooper still managed to maintain their raw, unrefined punk edges, regardless. Other highlights included the rowdy “Public Animal #9,” the mid-paced “Luney Tune,” and the sinister, cabaret-esque “Blue Turk.” — Greg Prato

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “School’s Out” Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith 3:30
2. “Luney Tune” Cooper, Dunaway 3:44
3. “Gutter Cat vs. the Jets” Buxton, Dunaway, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim 4:40
4. “Street Fight” (Instrumental) Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Smith 0:55
5. “Blue Turk” Cooper, Bruce 5:34
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “My Stars” Cooper, Bob Ezrin 5:49
2. “Public Animal #9” Cooper, Bruce 3:55
3. “Alma Mater” Smith 4:27
4. “Grande Finale” (Instrumental) Cooper, Buxton, Bruce, Dunaway, Bob Ezrin, Smith, Mack David, Elmer Bernstein 4:26

 

Schill Score:  8.25/10

 

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